Meet the people behind the products: Maurice and Matthew

Known for their excellent build quality and architecturally inspired design, all Fastlane turnstiles and Door Detective products are assembled in our manufacturing facility in Feltham, West London.

We spoke to Maurice Smith and Matthew Thomas, two of our production build leaders to find out more about their role, gain an insight into the manufacturing process and learn why they feel a sense of pride working for IDL.

Tell us a bit about yourselves

Maurice Smith: “Originally from Wolverhampton, I used to say as a youngster that I would never go to London, but here I am! I was always good at technical things and that led me to a job working within the production team at IDL over 11 years ago. Since joining the company I have worked my way up to the role of build leader.

Matthew Thomas: “I joined IDL back in 2018 and have a background in engineering having studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at university.  That was back in India, my wife, who is a nurse took up a job in the NHS and we moved over to the UK in 2016.

Could you describe a typical working day and what that might involve?

Matthew: “Most days can be broken down into core areas of assembly, inspection and testing. Typically, when we start on a project we get a Team Objective Sheet. This explains what product we have to assemble, how many are needed as part of the job and to what deadline.  The production team manager will also advise if there are any customisations or integrations that we need to factor into the specification.

Maurice: “Every job is different, because Fastlane products can integrate with a wide range of third-party products and we offer a range of customisation options, we really can accommodate a variety of customer requests! Sometimes it might be a different unit colour or it could be an integration with a biometric reader, we will ensure that we know what the client’s requirements are before we begin the build.

I’m often working on the units myself, but also have to make sure everyone on the team knows what they’re doing and no one’s having problems. I’ve been working on the team for many years, having assembled a wide range of different products, I know them all now! Over time, it’s become a lot easier and quicker to assemble the products – product innovation means the whole process of assembly has become much more streamlined.

Matthew: “I particularly like working on the Glassgate 150; it’s just a really elegant design, both to look at and in terms of the engineering inside.  It’s easy to see why it remains one of our most popular products.

Explain a bit more about product assembly

Matthew: “We take the components and put together the subassemblies. Then we lay the unit out on the floor, complete the wiring and do a soak test – a 48-hour running test to make sure no faults arise.

We have other tests to do also, functional tests. Finally, we add the external covering and make sure everything fits and looks right, and that there are no scratches and so on. We follow a strict checklist and follow a well-documented procedure to ensure the build quality is consistent.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Maurice: “As a build leader, we get to see each job through from beginning to end – you know who it’s for and you see it go from instructions on a piece of paper through to the finished product, ready to be shipped to its final location.

There’s also a sense of pride working for a British manufacturer and a company that constantly innovates to ensure its products are suitable for a wide range of installation locations.

Matthew: “It’s a proud moment to see each one go out the door, and I feel that the ones I’ve helped to assemble have my initials or my signature on them, not literally of course, but you know what I mean!

The whole of the production team feels part of the company’s success and we enjoy working on products that could be going to the US, Europe or just along the road to an office complex in central London.

Maurice: “Yes, since I started working here, I’ve seen turnstiles exported and then installed in places like the UNESCO HQ in Paris, or the new World Trade Centre complex in New York. Quite a lot go out to the Middle East to high-profile buildings in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi too – it’s a great feeling to know that something we’ve helped manufacture will be used by hundreds of people daily all over the world!”

Want to know more or see our production team in action? Contact us to arrange a visit to our facility in West London – call +44 (0)20 8890 5550 or email